A common howl on AN in the last few days has been that the A's did not get a sufficient bounty for Rich Harden in their trade to the Cubs. Some even felt that the A's had trade their most talented player for merely four "AAAA" players - guys who are destined to dominate Triple A, but will never be effective major leaguers.
Sean Gallagher is not a quad A player.
In seven innings and 96 pitches, Gallagher was dominant, striking out seven and holding the Angels to two hits. One thing the boxscore won't show is that he would've shut the Angels out if the A's had their best defensive alignment, with CarGon or Sweeney in right field in place of Brown, who couldn't come up with a Chone Figgins' run-scoring triple in the third.
Gallagher attacked the Angels hitters all night, touching 97 on the gun in the first inning and settling in at 93-94 mph the rest of the way. He also showed an impressive 83 mph changeup and an effective slider. He didn't spot his curveball for a strike much, but the bite on it was impressive, too. He also capitalized on the aggresiveness of the Angels' lineup, as they swung at several curves and sliders off the plate or even in the dirt, which speaks to the effectiveness his mid-90s fastball was having.
I was very impressed, and I think it would be hard not to be. He looked like a young Josh Beckett minus a mph or two, and again, he didn't even have great command on his curveball tonight. Same confidence, same mound presence, early to the big leagues, not afraid to attack, even similar facial hair. On a night when he has all four pitches working for him, Sean Gallagher will be unhittable.
I think he's also tailor-made for the Coliseum. He gave up a few balls tonight that would've been out of Wrigley with the wind blowing out, but those will always stay in the yard on a Coliseum night. He won't allow as many long balls here as he would've with the Cubs.
Matt Murton had a key two-run single to the opposite field in his first game with the A's, and he also was very impressive defensively. He made two outstanding plays at the wall, one going back to his right and the other going back to his left. It almost looked like he's been patrolling left field at the Coliseum for years.